Top 10 reasons why Headteachers go online to choose preferred supply teachers

Headteachers & Cover Managers feel much better choosing supply teachers who know their school, the children, policies & procedures themselves.  Supply teachers familiar with the school, reduce uncertainty, reduce disruption, and make sickness cover less difficult to resolve.

It’s well known that Headteachers have plenty of things to manage under normal circumstances. Managing sickness cover is a further unrelenting burden.

A growing number of innovative Headteachers and Cover Managers have removed a major burden by using online tools to choose & schedule their preferred supply teachers & support staff.

Online tools give schools complete choice and control, removing much of the stress of finding suitable cover.

Headteachers search by skills and availability, offer cover to contacts best suited and select from preferred applicants. All done easily with 24/7 online access.

Why are headteachers and cover managers scheduling their preferred workers themselves?

  1. Quicker
  2. Saves Money
  3. Reduced disruption
  4. Greater Control
  5. More Choice
  6. Full Transparency
  7. Self-determination
  8. Better Communications
  9. Own Talent pool
  10. Internal employees first
  11. Open to all
  12. Removes delay & uncertainty
  13. See the Cover Schedule.
  14. All Safeguarding obligations met
  15. Unlimited 24/7 access
  16. Consolidated Reporting

There are many good reasons why schools use an online supply teacher selection service with their agencies. Here are some of them, and yes more than 10.

  1. Quicker – It’s far quicker to search online for supply staff skills & availability, to offer work & select the best available contacts, than to pen an email or pick up the phone to various contacts, to describe the requirements & wait to hear the options to choose from.
  2. Saves money – By selecting the best value or least expensive workers. Schools have the choice to go for quality and price or the least expensive cover knowing skills & availability themselves. When teaching is not required, schools take the available least expensive option with the transparency & choice an online service provides.
  3. Reduced disruption – The school being in control means they get to select contacts familiar with the school more often and thus reduce disruption.
  4. Greater Control – Schools without access to skills or availability information are beholden to the agencies who represent supply teachers and support staff. Schools have no control without information, online access solves this issue.
  5. More Choice – A digital network of suitable supply contacts that the schools rates and knows gives schools far greater choice. The larger the network the greater the choice and supply fulfilment.
  6. Full Transparency – Contacts sharing their skills & latest availability online accessible whenever the school needs support being able to offer work and chat with contacts gives total transparency.
  7. Self-determination – Schools using the online service offer to preferred contacts and decide who will attend the school. No third party decides. Schools and their individual contacts from the larger talent pool get to decide without external influence.
  8. Better Communications – Communicate instantly with supply teachers and support staff via the chat facility makes filling vacancies much easier. To clarify timings, location, class details, work plans, directly between the school and candidates unencumbered.
  9. Own Talent pool – Schools create and build their own talent pool. There often include internal part-time employees, mixed with external agency workers from various good mutual agencies the school, supply teachers and support staff like working with. There is no limit on the size of the talent pool, the larger the talent pool the greater the choice.
  10. Internal employees – Schools typically have a group of retired teachers that like to “help out” when needed – they too share their skills and accurate availability via the app directly with the school for the headteacher, business manager or cover manager to access as required and use first further reducing the cost of external supply.
  11. Open to all – The Updatedge online software encourages schools to engage with all their preferred agencies. Schools do this by simply adding each recruitment consultant’s email.
    Recruitment agencies do not need to use the online service. The schools dominated agencies simply get an assignment confirmation request from the schools as soon as the school confirms the booking to their chosen candidates.
  12. Removes delay & uncertainty – Being able to instantly see who has the right skills & availability offering them work and getting an application all within 30 seconds or less certainly removes the stress of not knowing overnight whilst waiting for agencies to get back with options.
  13. See the Cover Schedule – Know who has been offered work, who applied, who is confirmed covering which classes when, on a single consolidated view for any day, week or month.
  14. All Safeguarding obligations met – Assured by the selected agencies  The assignment confirmation request when confirming to the candidate goes to the agency to this ensures the agency has all the necessary safeguarding completed which is confirmed via the normal assignment confirmation.
    Without the assignment confirmation schools know to contact the agency for status clarification and can offer the assignment to an alternative contact should there be an issue. Any good agencies normal formal assignment confirmation and in particular from all REC & APSCO Audited in education agencies details all necessary safeguarding & compliance details.
  15. Unlimited 24/7 access – For schools to see who is available & for supply teachers and non-teaching support staff to update their availability as it changes. This ensures schools have the latest information on their contacts availability.
  16. Consolidated Reporting – For multi-academy trust online consolidated reporting showing demand etc

There are plenty more reasons; take your pick to create your own top ten reasons why innovative cost conscious schools use online tools such as Updatedge to manage their supply teacher support staff talent pools.

Reasons not to use a self-service online supply teacher scheduling product?

There are reasons why a school may not want to go digital.

  1. Some schools, multi-academy trusts, and Local Authorities just don’t have the capacity to consider any improvement to existing processes and stick to the existing model.
  2. The school like to speak with recruitment consultants for advice about options.
  3. Recruitment agencies tend to “own the problem” and usually find a person.
  4. Recruitment agencies tend to have new supply staff the school is unaware of.
  5. Recruitment agencies are an integral element of the supply teacher process they do an excellent job at resourcing suitable staff, clearing them, maintaining their safeguarding compliance, and making them available to schools.  Many schools are content to pay a small fee for their excellent and frankly essential services.  (To be clear the Updatedge online tool removes none of these critical aspects away from recruitment agencies – the online tool is a software only application that provides better access to pools of good agency workers).

Hybrid Option

There are other reasons without doubt, and there is also the option to have the best of both worlds, with a hybrid approach, using the online tool to inform discussion in alliance with various good agencies.

In conclusion, and I might be slightly biased, it looks to me that the many benefits of schools and supply teachers connecting with each other for transparency, via an online tool, such as updatedge to share skills availability and offers. For schools wanting to innovate the easy to adopt hybrid option using an online tool to inform, providing more options through transparency supporting discussions with supply staff and any mutual agencies might work best.